THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM
which he had left behind him in Cairo received constant instructions from him and carried them out with unflagging zeal, whilst he showered his telegraphic blessings upon its achievements.
When the composition of the Milner Mission and its impending departure for Egypt were at last announced, it was from the Delegation that the mot d'ordre was given for boycotting it if it ventured to go out. I landed just then in Egypt—early in October, 1919—and found the boycott campaign already in full blast. When I left London, the few people who took any interest in Egyptian affairs were discussing the date which had not yet been definitely fixed for the Milner Mission to sail. When I reached Cairo a week later, the point that was being discussed there was whether its arrival might not prove the signal for fresh disturbances as grave as those of March and April. To the two popular catch-phrases, " Complete Independence " and " Down with the Protectorate/' a third one had been added : " Down with the Milner Mission/3 The native Press wrote endless variations on it and dug out of Lord Miner's " England hi Egypt," Written more than a quarter of a century ago, just after he had retired from the Egyptian service, every phrase and every word which, snatched from its context, could create the impression that he had always been an inveterate detractor of Egypt, though the Egyptians who had seen him then at work knew him to be one of the best friends and ablest servants their country had had.
Public meetings, at which the Bar was conspicuous, were held to denounce the Mission, and as the Legislative Assembly and tbe Provincial Councils were still closed down, their members held informal gatherings and dispatched fierce telegrams of protest to the Egyptian Ministers, to foreign Powers, to their representatives in Cairo, and, of course, to the Delegation in Paris, vowing that they would have nothing to do with the " accursed thing." Notables and Ulema followed suit, and the students of El Azhar and of the Government colleges,an public, which was gradually taught to look to Zaghlul, and to him alone, as the representative of the Egyptian nation destined to work out its future salvation. The Committeed belongs by rights to Islam, resents all forms of progress emanating from Western civilisation and readily translates itself into aggressive fanaticism.